Czech Senators Say Yes to Drinking & Cycling

A new bill that would allow cyclists to pedal with some alcohol in their blood was approved today by the Czech Senate

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 25.08.2016 15:48:57 (updated on 25.08.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

While it’s not uncommon to drink and cycle in the Czech Republic – especially in Moravia, with its bike trails through the region’s beautiful vineyards – it’s officially a no-no.

Like driving, there’s a zero tolerance policy for drinking & cycling, and bikers under the influence may face fines. 

That might soon change, however, as Czech senators today voted in favour of a bill that would allow cyclists to bike with a blood alcohol content of up to .08%, reports Hospodářské noviny

Only cyclists on trails, in villages, or riding on class three roads would be allowed to imbibe, however, meaning those on city streets would still face the zero tolerance policy.

Another condition in the proposed bill is that the alcohol level does not affect the rider’s ability to control the bike.

“I am convinced that that it is absolutely necessary to liberalize the rules for cyclists, to support further cycling trails in our country,” said senator Ivo Valenta.

“This would not only help Moravian vineyards but also hundreds of proprietors who do business alongside the cycling trails.”

Twenty-one senators voted in favour of the bill – the minimum it needed to pass – while six voted against and fourteen abstained. Next, the bill will be brought before the Chamber of Deputies for approval.

The .08% level is roughly equivalent to three glasses of wine or three .5L beers. According to Wikipedia, a blood alcohol level between .06 and .099 can result in euphoria, disinhibition, and reduced sensitivity to pain. 

Not all senators are in favour of the bill, however.

“Bikers are road users, and police statistics clearly show that alcohol behind the handlebars is not right,” commented Martin Kolovratník afterwards.

“We voted irresponsibly and gamble with people’s lives.”

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